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  • Writer's pictureAndy Ross

My Favorites of 2023




A number of friends have asked me what my favorite movies of the year are. This was a record year for me in terms of going to the movie theater. I love that. Movie theaters are great and I saw many wonderful new and revival screenings all over our region, even making the trek to Knoxville and Asheville for special screenings. 


 I didn’t see everything this year, so let that be a caveat before you read any further. The biggest example is I’ve yet to have seen “Oppenheimer” as I was holding out to catch it in 70mm, but then life got in the way of making plans to trek down to Nashville to catch such a screening. So with that in mind allow me to share with you some films and film-related things that make my list of year-end favorites. 


“Asteroid City”— Wes Anderson’s newest is hands down my favorite film of the year. “Asteroid City” was a little divisive between even Anderson’s biggest fans for doubling down on his one-of-a-kind style. I loved it for that, I loved it for how weird, stylish, and funny it was. To me, it felt like Anderson taking his stock brand of film and mixing it up with a 1950s Universal sci-fi movie. I left the theater feeling overwhelmingly delighted. 


“The Holdovers”— This one really surprised me in the sense that I wasn’t prepared to love it as much as I did, it’s only a shame it had a very short theatrical window before being dumped onto video-on-demand services. This charming holiday tale set in 1970 is about a grumpy teacher at a boarding school who is stuck supervising the students who have no home to go to over Christmas break. With a great performance by Paul Giamatti and I hope gets a nominated turn by Da'Vine Joy Randolph, this is a must-see and might become a new seasonal tradition. 


“Godzilla Minus One” — I was most happy and surprised to see this foreign language movie play at our local theater, and even more surprised to find it to be a truly impressive movie that covers topics such as war, PTSD, trauma, personal demons, while also having Godzilla in it. The film has done very well at our box office, and it’s a great use of taking a well-established icon of cinema and using it as the framework for a deeply moving story. 


“Killers of The Flower Moon”— Martin Scorsese, who is hands down one of our greatest filmmakers and champion of movies (look up the work he has done through his Film Foundation), delivers another impressive work. A long movie, but one that never feels like it wastes the nearly four-hour run-time. It will be very wrong if Lilly Gladstone isn’t nominated for an Oscar. 


“Barbie”— It’s hard to say no to “Barbie.” Director Greta Gerwig surprised everyone by delivering a movie based on a toy that had impressive themes, subversion, and downright one of the funniest movies I’ve watched in a theater in a very long time. A lot was said this year about how movies and movie theaters were back, and “Barbie” was at the center of many of those conversations. 


"Stop Making Sense" — The 40th-anniversary restoration and theatrical re-release of what is in my opinion the best concert film ever made was a truly incredible experience to see in theaters. I've loved the movie since my 20s and to finally see it on the big screen looking the best it ever has, with a truly fantastic brand new surround sound re-mix of the music, is something I'll be thinking about for years to come. 


Another favorite thing I must mention is that it was a great year for physical media, with the cherry on top being Shout Factory releasing my favorite movie, “Clue,” in a wonderful 4K blu-ray edition with bonus features, giving the beloved classic the long-overdue respect it deserves on home video, looking absolutely amazing to boot. They also get points for releasing on physical media last year’s extremely funny “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.” 


It was a good year for movies and a good year for home video. I hope you’ve had a chance to enjoy the theater this year and I hope you and yours have a wonderful 2024. See you next year. 


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